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No One Lies Forever
July 10th 2000, 23:22 CEST by andy

Over the last two years, Jason Hall has ploughed through a variety of explanations for why people shouldn't be mad at Monolith for the Blood 2 travesty. Finally, he's decided to tell the truth. Sort of...



In an interview over on Junk Extreme, Jason is asked about Monolith's plans to support Sanity, as according to the interviewer, "following the release of Blood 2, a lot of gamers are not so confident in Monolith anymore when it comes to supporting their products".

In a very long and remarkably frank answer, Jason explains that Monolith was simply contracted by GT Interactive to make Blood 2. He then explains:

It bothers us that Blood 2 happened the way it did, but the bottom line is that GT Interactive controlled whether additional work and support got done on Blood 2 or not.

Bzzz! That use of the word "controlled" is questionable...

At the peak of complaints about Blood 2, a GT Interactive spokesman commented:

Technical Support isn't in a position to make a formal comment about GT Interactive's relations with Monolith, and wouldn't be likely to do so if we were, as we want the people at Monolith to continue working on making improvements where they can, and they're less likely to do so if we publicly antagonise them.

So while it is true that GT owned the franchise, Monolith was never prevented from doing additional work, and apparently was encouraged to.

In the Junk Extreme interview, Jason accepts that Monolith could have fixed the game, but he defends the decision not to:

The world can be harsh sometimes. As CEO, part of my job is to be able to look the people I work with in the eye and tell them that their paychecks won't ever bounce. [...] GT wasn't interested in paying for more development, and I was not going to send 65 families to the unemployment line just so that a minor few could have smooth internet multiplayer, or AI that didn't get stuck in corner, etc.

So where's the ugly side of this? (Sorry, the "negative spin".)

Well, the way I see it, the interviewer is essentially asking Jason why people should trust Monolith in future. And truth be told, although Jason's candour about GT is deserving of respect, when you strip it all down to the bones he doesn't say much to allay any concerns. Indeed, some people will likely take Jason's answer as confirmation of their suspicions...

The one concern about Monolith that I've heard most often is that successful products will be supported, while the commercial failures will be left to rot. Those people will probably not be surprised to read this part of Jason's answer:

Basically, Blood 2 just needed more time. Time costs money, and Monolith didn't have a business model with the Blood 2 project that could justify additional work - GT needed to step up, and really they should have because it is their game that they sold.

To be honest though, I don't blame them for dropping it. The overall interest wasn't there for the Blood franchise (except for the Blood community, which r0x0rs).

So what happens if Sanity or No One Lives Forever don't do very well? If, even with hindsight, Jason agrees with GT's decision to abandon a game due to poor sales, does this mean that any future Monolith failures will also be abandoned? Will that be, as Jason himself puts it, the "solid business decision"?

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#1 by "Andy"
2000-07-10 23:23:01
andy@planetcrap.com
FYI, this is the third Monolith topic in about a year.
#2 by "Billy Saw Hurock"
2000-07-10 23:26:50
billysawhurock@hotmail.com http://www.bloweduprealgood.com
Jason should join the WWF now and forget about all this silly gaming and take up a serious sport.
#3 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-07-10 23:35:18
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<quote>So while it is true that GT owned the franchise, Monolith was never prevented from doing additional work, and apparently was encouraged to.</quote>
I'm curious why you'd accept GT's statement as the truth and doubt Jason Hall's version. What makes one more credible than the other?
#4 by "Jason Hall"
2000-07-10 23:36:54
Hall@Lith.com http://www.lith.com
Generating more hits I see!
#5 by "Andy"
2000-07-10 23:42:24
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#3</b>, Steve Bauman:
<QUOTE>
I'm curious why you'd accept GT's statement as the truth and doubt Jason Hall's version. What makes one more credible than the other?
</QUOTE>
Logic. I don't believe a publisher would forbid a developer from fixing bugs.
#6 by "Paul"
2000-07-10 23:42:25
pab05f@mizzou.edu http://www.planethalflife.com/aerotic
I(and a few others) had a 30 minute irc chat with a level designer who works at Monolith. That conversation took place about 2 months before Blood2 was released. I know for a fact that they were very tight money wise, and I also know that it was their best intentions to release a good game.

Andy, I want you to start a game development company so you will know how difficult publishers can be to a company who's not id.

I didn't want to say anything, because Monolith's financial trend is none of my business, but Jason Hall mentioned it in his statement.

- Paul
#7 by "Valeyard"
2000-07-10 23:42:55
valeyard@ck3.net http://www.ck3.net
<b>#Main Post</b> "andy" wrote...
<QUOTE>So what happens if Sanity or No One Lives Forever don't do very well?</QUOTE>

If that happens, it's very likely they won't be supported.

<QUOTE>If, even with hindsight, Jason agrees with GT's decision to abandon a game due to poor sales, does this mean that any future Monolith failures will also be abandoned?</QUOTE>

More than likely.

<QUOTE>Will that be, as Jason himself puts it, the "solid business decision"?</QUOTE>

Yes.  As sad as that sounds, it'll be the correct business decision.  It has to be.

The only thing you can hope for is that people who were unable to play the game, at all, will be able to return it.

On moral ground, it's very unfortunate...but from a business standpoint, it's the way it has to be.  If the next Monolith games are failures, it's my opinion that GT should drop them.  Not that GT is above reproach...but there comes a time when the developer/publisher relationship just doesn't work.  That happens when one side or the other doesn't live up to their end of the bargain.  In the case of Blood2, I think that both sides failed in different areas...and neither will ever resolve the problems.

I'd love to see a committment to quality or a guarantee but, in most cases, that's simply not going to happen.

-Valeyard<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#8 by "Tim Sweeney"
2000-07-10 23:44:38
tim@epicgames.com http://unreal.epicgames.com/
If there's one thing this topic very clearly illustrates, it's the importance of the letter "v" in the English language!

-Tim
#9 by "Paul"
2000-07-10 23:46:50
pab05f@mizzou.edu http://www.planethalflife.com/aerotic
Tim said:
"If there's one thing this topic very clearly illustrates, it's the importance of the letter "v" in the English language!"

I've always been a big fan of the letter "y" myself. It's as flexible as opengl;-)

- Paul
#10 by "Valeyard"
2000-07-10 23:47:10
valeyard@ck3.net http://www.ck3.net
<b>#5</b> "Andy" wrote...
<QUOTE>Logic. I don't believe a publisher would forbid a developer from fixing bugs. </QUOTE>
I don't think it's likely that they would or could <b>forbid</b> it...but they can prevent it.  By refusing to financially support further development.  If neither the publisher or the developer is willing to finance the additional effort...it's not going to happen.

The best thing for Blood2 at this point is if they made it open source.

Now there's an idea.  If you release a buggy product and refuse to support it further, maybe you should be required to release the source code!  Allowing independents and fans to fix/modify it to their liking.

That was just a quick thought, but it sounds reasonable...doesn't it?  Any developer/publisher want to take a shot at it?

If you're not going to make any more money off of it, and not going to support it...why not open-source it?

-Valeyard<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#11 by "Billy Saw Hurock"
2000-07-10 23:47:56
billysawhurock@hotmail.com http://www.bloweduprealgood.com
If Jason were to join the WWF, do you think he'd wear a mask and a cape?  I do.
#12 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-07-10 23:55:37
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<quote>Logic. I don't believe a publisher would forbid a developer from fixing bugs. </quote>
How many buggy games are never patched? A lot of them. Why? Business decisions. If they need to keep X programmers working on bug fixes, and spend some time/money on QA, they look at the bottom line and decide if it's worth the money. If a game sells 100,000 copies, and the bugs affect 10,000 people, it's worth it. If the game sells 5,000 copies and 50 people are affected...

Corporations are amoral, especially when they're public. Revenue, profit, blah, blah, blah. They don't do "the right thing" solely because it's the right thing to do.

Let's consider Pumpkin Studios of Warzone 2100 infamy. They patched their game on their own dime, and Eidos didn't seem interested in supporting them. The game sold poorly and they went out of business; perhaps legacy support of that product affected the development of their next game, which caused it to progress slowly enough to be canceled? Who knows?

Anyway, I think it's unfair for you to pass judgement in this case. I have no problem with presenting Jason Hall's side of the story and GT's... it's an interesting story. But taking sides without being privvy to any of the internal workings at either company (correct me if I'm wrong here)?

That, to me at least, is not cool.
#13 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-07-10 23:56:51
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<quote>Now there's an idea. If you release a buggy product and refuse to support it further, maybe you should be required to release the source code! Allowing independents and fans to fix/modify it to their liking. </quote>
That is actually a terrific idea, and it will never happen because code is protect by many like IP. You don't just give it away.
#14 by "BarneyQue"
2000-07-10 23:56:56
BarneyQue@hotmail.com http://N/A
Man, I'm not going to make many friends with this one. But here goes.


I'm content with his explination.


I can't say I've have done any differently in the same situation with one exception.  I'd never have agreed to an 11 month contract in the first place.

We all bitch about the 'when it's done' thing, or at least I do, but this is what happens when you toss all logic out the window and stand firm on a ship date.

It's fun and all to be a hero, and put 65 homes out of work, and stand on the mount and proclaim it was shit, but I fixed it godammit, but it's clearly not a smart decision.

Of course this comes right down to the fibre of Andy if I understand him correctly.  He will always be in the hero's corner cheering him on for doing the right thing.  And that's cool, it's admirable, but I wonder what his plans are for the unemployed peons at the company in that situation.  

On an individual basis, I could not sleep at night if I marched down to Monolith, and demaned a fix for my 40 dollar game despite being assured it would put 65 family's out of work. If a company consistantly puts out shitty games, they deserve any fate that comes upon them, but I don't want to be the guy holding the knife if they go down.  I'll just not purchase the games, and be done with it.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#15 by "Billy Saw Hurock"
2000-07-10 23:58:29
billysawhurock@hotmail.com http://www.bloweduprealgood.com
Should Jason be a bad guy wrestler or a good guy wrestler?  I see him being more of a bad guy, with a superbike that he rides to the ring in his pink ballerina outfit.
#16 by "Billy Saw Hurock"
2000-07-10 23:59:31
billysawhurock@hotmail.com http://www.bloweduprealgood.com
Hey guys, this Steve Bauman guy is one smart cookie.  You, You.. You're good...
#17 by "PainKilleR-[CE]"
2000-07-11 00:02:45
painkiller@planetfortress.com http://www.planetfortress.com/tftech/
#10: <quote>The best thing for Blood2 at this point is if they made it open source. </quote>

Then the question is, are there any projects out there that have taken the time to fix most of the bugs, especially in relation with trying to run the game on nVidia chipsets (at least as far as I could tell, that's where my problems with the game came from)? Simply put, I might like the game if I could play it for more than 10-15 minutes at a time. Unfortunately, I'm lucky if it goes THAT long without a crash or a spiraling degradation in the game that eventually leads towards unplayability (textures start breaking up, acting much like the 3d card is overheating, despite a complete lack of heat problems).

-PainKilleR-[CE]
#18 by "Andy"
2000-07-11 00:05:29
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#12</b>, Steve Bauman:

Not supporting a game for financial reasons is one thing, but I don't believe GT told Monolith not to provide free support.

If you think they did, we disagree. :)
<QUOTE>
<quote>Now there's an idea. If you release a buggy product and refuse to support it further, maybe you should be required to release the source code! Allowing independents and fans to fix/modify it to their liking. </quote>
That is actually a terrific idea, and it will never happen because code is protect by many like IP. You don't just give it away.
</QUOTE>
Isn't Black & White going to be fully open source from day one?
#19 by "Andy"
2000-07-11 00:08:18
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#14</b>, BarneyQue:
<QUOTE>
I'm content with his explination.
</QUOTE>
Me too, pretty much, but I do think the two points mentioned in the topic are a bit, ya know... "hmmm" worthy.
#20 by "PainKilleR-[CE]"
2000-07-11 00:09:34
painkiller@planetfortress.com http://www.planetfortress.com/tftech/
#14: <quote>If a company consistantly puts out shitty games, they deserve any fate that comes upon them, but I don't want to be the guy holding the knife if they go down. I'll just not purchase the games, and be done with it. </quote>

and then you're still holding the knife, or at the least you're the one that didn't call the cops when you heard someone screaming for help. Yes, they deserve that fate if they continue to release unfinished games and not modify their development times accordingly (ie go out and sign another 11 month contract when you know you couldn't get your last game finished in that time). However, by not buying the games, you're just contributing to their reason not to patch them. (and no, I won't be buying any further Monolith games without complete assurance that the game is patched and playable. Hell, I didn't buy Blood 2 until after they released 'The Patch' that was supposed to fix most of the game's problems).

-PainKilleR-[CE]
#21 by "Justin 'tin' Kramer"
2000-07-11 00:10:47
justin@NOSPAMagniweb.com http://tin.nu/
Based on the info presented, my take is that GT did not forbid Monolith from working on patches, but they didn't actively support them either. "Sure, feel free to develop patches--we're just not going to pay for it". Since it wasn't possible for Monolith to spend time on patches without GT's monetary support, the patches didn't happen.

-Justin
#22 by "BarneyQue"
2000-07-11 00:17:14
BarneyQue@hotmail.com http://N/A
<b>#20</b> "PainKilleR-[CE]" wrote...
<QUOTE>

#14:
<quote>If a company consistantly puts out shitty games, they deserve any fate that comes upon them, but I don't want to be the guy holding the knife if they go down. I'll just not purchase the games, and be done with it. </quote>

and then you're still holding the knife, or at the least you're the one that didn't call the cops when you heard someone screaming for help. Yes, they deserve that fate if they continue to release unfinished games and not modify their development times accordingly (ie go out and sign another 11 month contract when you know you couldn't get your last game finished in that time). However, by not buying the games, you're just contributing to their reason not to patch them. (and no, I won't be buying any further Monolith games without complete assurance that the game is patched and playable. Hell, I didn't buy Blood 2 until after they released 'The Patch' that was supposed to fix most of the game's problems).

-PainKilleR-[CE]


</QUOTE>

I disagree with this.  I hear someone needing help, I'll act on it.  In this case, my action is to not buy the game, if that helps the company not put out shitty games, then I've done my job.

As for me being a problem in this case, because I don't buy shitty games, and cause developers to abandon there products, that's absurd.  Cut me some slack here, it's not my job to seek out shitty games to buy so I can be disgruntled with the developers, I'd much rather buy good ones, and support the people who deserve my cash.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#23 by "BarneyQue"
2000-07-11 00:19:50
BarneyQue@hotmail.com http://N/A
<b>#19</b> "Andy" wrote...
<QUOTE>

<B>#14</B>, BarneyQue:

<quote>
I'm content with his explination.
</quote>
Me too, pretty much, but I do think the two points mentioned in the topic are a bit, ya know... "hmmm" worthy.



</QUOTE>

I made no claims as to the topics worthability. I suppose my participation here validates the comments made. It was a good read (the interview, and comments here), glad I had the chance to see them.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#24 by "None-1a"
2000-07-11 00:20:51
none1a@home.com http://www.geocities.com/none-1a/
<b>#15</b> "Billy Saw Hurock" wrote...
<QUOTE>


Should Jason be a bad guy wrestler or a good guy wrestler? I see him being
more of a bad guy, with a superbike that he rides to the ring in his pink
ballerina outfit. </QUOTE>

Didn't he say he sold the bike (as a car guy all I can say it jason shame on you :)

Anyway I agree with jason's statements as well (didn't he say in the last thread that they could have worked on it anyway?). I just tryed playing Blood (original) again, and I'm pissed I can't get it running with sound (fricking thing crashes on my Fortesmo with trying to use sound dispite damn near perfict legicy support that rujns any thing no using build).<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#25 by "Andy"
2000-07-11 00:26:51
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#23</b>, BarneyQue:

I know. I wasn't arguing with you. :)
#26 by "BloodKnight"
2000-07-11 00:27:01
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
I have to disagree about GT not allowing Monolith by whatever means (cash, etc), I think thats just an excuse to make Monolith not the 'enemy'.  Blood2 was extremly buggy, even though it had pretty good graphics and a great atmosphere, the bugs just killed it.  I doubt, business wise (even though I don't know nothing about business), that a publisher would 'halt' a developer from making a working game, if they did, as Blood2's present result, it won't sell shit, argo, money will be lost and no profit is made.  Not very smart business-like to me.
#27 by "Darkseid-[D!]"
2000-07-11 00:32:24
darkseid-d@planetcrap.com http://www.captured.com/boomstick
anyone else pissed off

Eidos giving chief execs 4mil bonus's ...

after sinking money into Daikatana, although to be fair that did get us the glory of Deus Ex

but not being able to keep LG open

and _needing_ to sell themselves to a bigger company.


BAH


Ds<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#28 by "BarneyQue"
2000-07-11 00:35:40
BarneyQue@hotmail.com http://N/A
<b>#27</b> "Darkseid-[D!]" wrote...
<QUOTE>

anyone else pissed off

Eidos giving chief execs 4mil bonus's ...

after sinking money into Daikatana, although to be fair that did get us the glory of Deus Ex

but not being able to keep LG open

and _needing_ to sell themselves to a bigger company.


BAH


Ds</QUOTE>

Seems out of line.  I wonder why bonus's are only performance based when it's me sitting on the peon side of the desk?<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#29 by "PainKilleR-[CE]"
2000-07-11 01:14:37
painkiller@planetfortress.com http://www.planetfortress.com/tftech/
<b>#28</b> "BarneyQue" wrote...
<QUOTE>Seems out of line. I wonder why bonus's are only performance based when it's me
sitting on the peon side of the desk?</QUOTE>

lol, because chances are, people like us aren't even eligible for 4 million dollar bonuses. Hey, I bet LGS could've stayed open a little while longer on 4 million.

-PainKilleR-[CE]
#30 by "brennan"
2000-07-11 01:15:14
scottsyoen@home.com
Andy said that a few things were "hmmm-worthy"...I concur.  One other thing I thought was hmmm-worthy from the interview was:

Jason:

<quote>
Release date??? WHEN IT'S DONE.... heheh, yeah right... actually, end of this year (but it is really up to Fox).
</quote>

Now, god forbid I should make assumptions in a transparent attempt to generate hits for PC, but doesn't that indicate, at least somewhat, that Monolith is still giving over control of their development cycle/release schedule to their publisher?  I mean, if it's up to Fox when it's going to be released, couldn't we see the same sort of debacle as we did with Blood 2?

Cause, the way I see the interview is that Jason is asserting that B2 was rushed out the door due to their contract with GT, and Lith couldn't afford to support it afterwards.  Therefore, gamers got burned, despite Jason/Lith feeling bad about this, because it just wasn't possible for both Lith to stay in business and B2 to get fixed.

Fair enough; I'm satisfied.  But now we're told that Fox controls the release schedule for No One Lives Forever, and I see B2 comign right back.  So I guess I'm wondering: Why the hell should we buy NOLF after we saw what happened with B2?  Can Jason commit Fox's resources to fixing any bugs that might crop up?  I mean, no offense to Jason, but Lith doesn't exactly have a stellar track record for releasing games that are bug-free out of the box.

Again, I just thought it was hmmm-worthy.

-brennan
#31 by "Andy"
2000-07-11 01:29:02
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#30</b>, brennan:
<QUOTE>
Jason:
<quote>
Release date??? <b>WHEN IT'S DONE.... heheh, yeah right...</b> actually, end of this year (but it is really up to Fox).
</quote></QUOTE>
Funny how things can be read two ways. ;-)
<QUOTE>
I mean, no offense to Jason, but Lith doesn't exactly have a stellar track record for releasing games that are bug-free out of the box.
</QUOTE>
Frankly, if anyone buys a Monolith game within the first month of release, they'll get no sympathy from me if it's broken. I'll understand why they're pissed, sure, but if you put your hand in a fire then you're going to get burned.

And I'll tell you right now that if the situation arises, the 'Crap threads will focus on the stupidity of consumers, not the evils of Monolith.

"<i>But mommy, all I did was put the gun in my mouth and pull the trigger. And now I'm dead! Life is so unfair.</i>"
#32 by "BarneyQue"
2000-07-11 01:30:45
BarneyQue@hotmail.com http://N/A
<b>#30</b> "brennan" wrote...
<QUOTE>

Andy said that a few things were "hmmm-worthy"...I concur. One other thing I thought was hmmm-worthy from the interview was:

Jason:


<quote>
Release date??? WHEN IT'S DONE.... heheh, yeah right... actually, end of this year (but it is really up to Fox).
</quote>

Now, god forbid I should make assumptions in a transparent attempt to generate hits for PC, but doesn't that indicate, at least somewhat, that Monolith is still giving over control of their development cycle/release schedule to their publisher? I mean, if it's up to Fox when it's going to be released, couldn't we see the same sort of debacle as we did with Blood 2?

Cause, the way I see the interview is that Jason is asserting that B2 was rushed out the door due to their contract with GT, and Lith couldn't afford to support it afterwards. Therefore, gamers got burned, despite Jason/Lith feeling bad about this, because it just wasn't possible for both Lith to stay in business and B2 to get fixed.

Fair enough; I'm satisfied. But now we're told that Fox controls the release schedule for No One Lives Forever, and I see B2 comign right back. So I guess I'm wondering: Why the hell should we buy NOLF after we saw what happened with B2? Can Jason commit Fox's resources to fixing any bugs that might crop up? I mean, no offense to Jason, but Lith doesn't exactly have a stellar track record for releasing games that are bug-free out of the box.

Again, I just thought it was hmmm-worthy.

-brennan


</QUOTE>

For sure, he's got a nice escape clause in there, we need to keep an eye on these guys, wait for the critical reviews to come in.  While I feel his assessment of the situation is worthy, we still need a couple of decent releases before we can let our guard down.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#33 by "BarneyQue"
2000-07-11 01:32:22
BarneyQue@hotmail.com http://N/A
<b>#31</b> "Andy" wrote...
<QUOTE>


<quote>

And I'll tell you right now that if the situation arises, the 'Crap threads will focus on the stupidity of consumers, not the evils of Monolith.


</QUOTE>

This sounds fair to me.  No excuses next time.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#34 by "Baytor"
2000-07-11 01:40:45
baytor@yahoo.com http://www.geocities.com/baytor
(sigh)  Andy, I think you mis-understood the basic premise of Jason's recent comments.  He's not saying that GT prevented him from making a Blood 2 patch, but that they refused to give him the money to do it.  Sure, it's a Pontious Pious defense that allows him to wash his hands of the whole thing, but it's fairly understandable in this version of the story :)

I'm sure GT never told him that Monolith couldn't support the game, although for a couple of months there, Jason Hall tried to make the gaming community believe that they were.

The only thing I object to is Jason Hall's front-ending most of the blame for what happened to Blood 2 to GT.  Sure, he takes responsibility for what Monolith did wrong a later on in the answer, but IMO, he should of taken a more "we f**ked up" approach, instead of saying for several paragraphs, "GT made us f**k up."  

Maybe I've been reading too much Ayn Rand lately, but when a publisher comes up to you and says, "we'd love for you to make a game in 11 months," you either a) try to get more time to do it right or b) stick to what you know you can do and don't get ambitious.  Of course, Monolith seems to have done neither, launching an extremely ambitious game design with a developing engine, something few companies would have been able to complete in the standard 18 month game design cycle, much less the 11 month one they accepted.  

Oh, well.  Here's hoping he really learned the right lesson fron that episode.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#35 by "Andy"
2000-07-11 02:06:15
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#34</b>, Baytor:
<QUOTE>
(sigh) Andy, I think you mis-understood the basic premise of Jason's recent comments. He's not saying that GT prevented him from making a Blood 2 patch, but that they refused to give him the money to do it.
</QUOTE>
No, I understand that. Jason mentiones it a few times in the interview. But his comment about GT "controlling" additional work could be misleading.
#36 by "Desiato"
2000-07-11 02:11:23
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com/
Making games is a *business*...as much as we'd like to believe that it is all about making "cool stuff" the harsh reality is making things that _ship_ and sell.

Jason may have slowed the red ink leaking from the project by not deciding to sink more funds into a black hole, but I think you have to look at the initial design plan and implementation.

All of this "after the fact" analysis of why it wasn't patched isn't nearly as important as how the game got to the state that it was.

Publishing deadlines can be a dark influence, especially if problems cropped up late.

So two questions -- the date was too early? Or was the project flawed no matter what the date was?

Desiato
#37 by "Emjoi Gently"
2000-07-11 02:40:30
Companies like Epic, id and 3DR have buffer zones.
They had big selling games, so they have money in the bank.  They can afford to say "When It's Done", they can afford to spend another 6 months churning out patches.  They have the leverage to negotiate release dates.

If your company's got no money, and you are at the mercy of your distributor, then doing the moral, "right" thing isn't always possible.
#38 by "|SnappY|"
2000-07-11 02:44:09
snap@nwlink.com
Jason Hall says:
"KNOW THIS - Monolith has many new employees working for it that have come from a bunch of these "noble" business that have gone out of business or had severe staff layoffs.

The world can be harsh sometimes. As CEO, part of my job is to be able to look the people I work with in the eye and tell them that their paychecks won't ever bounce, and that they can be confident in the company's financial stability so, "go ahead and buy that house..." The people of Monolith (LithTech included) are my friends and my family and I will do everything I can to ensure their future and give them the opportunity to make great games and technology."

As a former employee of Monolith who was layed off along with perhaps 20-40 other people, and not because I got looked square in the eye by the CEO, I had to laugh and say:
That's funny. I really really ENJOYED getting unemployment... yeah.


<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#39 by "Show Time"
2000-07-11 04:05:29
bmw@carolina.rr.com
I think the solution is for companies to stop making such buggy games (obviously.) And I think the way to do that is for more companies to have open betas. It makes customers happy, and they get alot of free testers on alot of different systems. Is there a bad side I'm missing? Anyway, sorry if this was covered, I usually have the time to read all the responses but not today.
#40 by "Show Time"
2000-07-11 04:09:49
bmw@carolina.rr.com
#31

Andy, do you think that's fair? Not all gamers have the time, resources, or even the knowledge to go around learning about company reputations. Alot of gamers don't even know about Monolith, if I hadn't been reading this sight for a long time, I might not even know the extent of the problems with Blood 2. It's debatable, but I still think the blame should fall on the developer, what ever happened to not releasing buggy games in the first place?
#41 by "Andy"
2000-07-11 04:24:38
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#40</b>, Show Time:

Oops, I really wasn't at all clear in that post. :)

I'm thinking of the sort of people that read PlanetCrap, or any of the more honest Monolith fan sites. Anyone who has had a bad experience with Monolith before, and doesn't learn from that.

Not regular consumers. Sorry, I should have said that.
#42 by "Sgt Hulka"
2000-07-11 05:03:55
sgt_hulka@yahoo.com http://www.hulka.com
We are the minority.  Sometimes we may overloko that fact, but we're are a very small community of gamers.  Get this! Many times when I mention Quake, Age of Empires, Duke Nukem, or just about any current game to somebody I know, they're spellbound.  They have NO idea what I'm talking about.  They are like deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming semi.  They may pause for a second, pretend to comprehend what I just said, then say "Uh, yeah, you're little gaming things, whatever, pass me a beer, let's play Mario Brothers (16-bit)"...

I'm still considered weird, Abby Normal, and freakishly good looking by most of my family, my neighbors, the mailman, the entire Indianpolis Colts cheerleading squad, and all of my friend.  

That's why I feel that we are in the minority.  A majority of people who buy games, buy 'games' like "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" (I don't think anybody has won the home version yet), Barbie Trailer Trash Hair Fashion Designer Deluxe, Tiny Toons Molest the Elderly in Toontown 3D, Deer Hunter VIII, and just about anything else with a recognizable licensed property. They will probably gobble up the upcoming Duke Hunter game too, and that's only because 3D Realms has done a great job of getting Duke's name known to a larger audience through a variety of efforts.

Don't get me wrong, those are not bad games, okay, well a few of them are, but they just have massive distribution channels and appeal to a wider audience.  We are hardcore gamers, we follow this stuff daily, we know the ins and outs, who fucks up, who doesn't, and that's why the guys at the game companies watch this board.  Some of the truly do care.  It's hard to pinpoint who, but having gone through what I've been through over the last three years, I can sympathize with Jason at Monolith.  Plus, if I say anything bad about him I'll have to wrassle him in the ring!
===============================================
The world will never be safe unti nerd persecution ends!
#43 by "Jason Hall"
2000-07-11 07:01:52
Hall@lith.com http://www.lith.com
Notice:

Evil Avatar has banned me from posting in his forums. Since I had been making some headway in the various debates with him going on over there, I have been silenced with a ban. Nice move Evil, you win!

Ah well, for those of you who been following the "attack Monolith" threads over there, they are going to get a lot less spicy cause I can't answer to any of the accusations flying around on that site.

I'll be keeping my debates to planetcrap from now on, so please don't take my absence from that site as a sign that I'm not willing to discuss the issues at hand.

Jace
#44 by "Dethstryk"
2000-07-11 07:05:24
dethstryk@damagegaming.com http://www.damagegaming.com/
<b>#43</b> "Jason Hall" wrote...
<QUOTE>I'll be keeping my debates to planetcrap from now on, so please don't take my absence from that site as a sign that I'm not willing to discuss the issues at hand.</QUOTE>
Perfectly understandable, Jason. It *is* Evil Avatar anyway.. and besides, we have some hot stuff over here for you to defend if you're up for it. :)


--
Dethstryk
Damage Gaming
#45 by "Andy"
2000-07-11 07:13:06
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#43</b>, Jason Hall:
<QUOTE>
I'll be keeping my debates to planetcrap from now on
</QUOTE>
But won't that help us to "generate more hits"?
#46 by "Baytor"
2000-07-11 07:36:29
baytor@yahoo.com http://www.geocities.com/baytor
<b>Andy--45</b>

<i>But won't that help us to "generate more hits"?
</i>

Innay on the more ithays.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#47 by "Sgt Hulka"
2000-07-11 07:36:50
sgt_hulka@yahoo.com http://www.hulka.com
Yeah Andy, Hits! Hits! Hits!  You're so controversial.  You're a wiseguy, luring those folks in with the nasty talk and the hate mongering.  You're a used car salesman, using the old Bait and Switch, I bet you even wear a plaid suit jacket and smoke a cigar! You probably used to be a carnival barker!  You're deceptive and only lure us here for the hits!!!

Just imagine that cool Ferrari you can buy from all those banner impressions, wait a minute.. Uhmm.. Eh...  What banners?  

Don't feel so bad Jason, I was once banned from the EA forums because I once posted one of Andy's articles that talked about the company you work at.  He later let me back into his brood of beautiful people, so perhaps if you click your red slippers together three times and recite "There's no place live Evil, There's no place live Evil, There's no place live Evil"  You'll be back in defending your position on the issues of the day at EA.

I'm glad I didn't have to go that far, my red slippers haven't fit me since I was 24.
#48 by "Sgt Hulka"
2000-07-11 07:38:59
sgt_hulka@yahoo.com http://www.hulka.com
Sorry, typo, what I meant to type was "There's no place like Evil"...  Damn my eyes!
#49 by "Sgt Hulka"
2000-07-11 07:40:04
sgt_hulka@yahoo.com http://www.hulka.com
#46 - What happened to the

- I AM BAYTOR!  sig?  I used to love that.
#50 by "Crusader"
2000-07-11 07:41:29
crusader@linuxgames.com http://www.linuxgames.com/
Hey Jason, I know what the company line is (Hyperion will be porting the engine and has the vague responsibility of porting future LT titles)... but what's your personal opinion of Linux? Would you <b>like</b> to see AvP2 or NOLF ported to the Linux platform (and I'm talking clients, not dedicated server-only)?

All too often it seems that developers either don't grok Linux, see it as just another minor OS market like MacOS or BeOS, or ignore it entirely.
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